Why You Need Business Intelligence in Retail & How to Benefit From It
Advancements in digital data solutions, analytics, and intelligence gathering are revolutionizing the retail industry. Today’s retail leaders are integrating new technologies and information methodologies to keep pace and generate sales in a fast-track world that has grown more demanding than ever before – particularly in addressing a new generation of customers with very different online and onsite shopping preferences.
What is retail business intelligence? And why do I need it?
Done right, a business intelligence solution is one that does much more than compile mountains of data. Rather, it finds ways to capture data that is uniquely relevant to your retail business, so you can glean actionable insights that enable informed business decisions to drive marketing, operations, management, product decisions, and customer experience solutions. In other words, it’s not just about gathering volumes of information. In fact, too much data very well might muddy the waters further, leading you down wrong roads and paths you don’t need to explore. Effective retail business intelligence, however, gets the right data in front of the right decision makers at precisely the right time. Simple as that. Though, in practice, there’s nothing simple about developing a strong business intelligence program.
Where does your retail business stand in terms of data, analytics, and intelligence solutions? Is your mix of digital technology and customer insight solutions the right one? Or do you need a little help?
The advantages of proper business intelligence are invaluable to retail operations. They’re key to optimizing back-of-house functions, like inventory management, product mix, pricing structure, and field compliance. They also impact critical customer-facing programs, like store appearance, merchandising, employee performance, marketing, and the overall customer journey. It’s this ability to improve engagement with customers that many in the retail industry see as the golden ticket of good business intelligence.
Retail business intelligence as a function of customer engagement
Better customer engagement leads to better sales – that’s pretty obvious. But how can you generate that compelling experience? How do you capitalize on the current shopping trends of your audience and prove to your customers that you are the retailer who has what they need? There’s only one way to improve the customer journey and that’s by making an effort to get to know yours better.
Good intelligence provides the critical data and insights you need to tap into the mindset of your target customer. You can learn when they like to shop; what products they like to pair; whether they prefer shopping online or in stores; the expectations they have in a product; what brands they prefer; and so many other telling insights. You’ll uncover viable customer patterns you can use to create a better journey.
Leveraging analytics also allows retail businesses to train and task employees accordingly. In fact, real-time data tools are being used by sales teams at major retailers to pull up customer histories, habits and possible interest items instantly. These people represent the front line of sales. The more they know about your customers, the better they can connect and provide great service.
Customer benefits of business intelligence at a glance
- Gain a deeper understanding of customer needs and behaviors
- Improve sales training and in-store engagement
- Optimize product promotions through more accurate data
- Unify online and in-store shopping experiences
- Merchandise stores based on shopping patterns and trends
- Personalize the shopping experience for each customer
- Build lasting, loyal relationships through meaningful shopping journeys
How would you rate your retail analytics and intelligence? Are you uncovering important trends? Are you capturing the right data and turning it into greater sales? Are you even sure how to effectively measure your data and insights? Good news, there is help.
Business intelligence as a function of operations
Beyond the critical insights that data can reveal about your customers, it’s also being used to optimize retail from an operational perspective. From tracking and managing field team performance to developing more effective marketing and merchandising programs, digital data and analytics can prove a tremendous advantage.
For instance, intelligent data capture tools, such as mobile electronic smart forms, are enabling retail businesses to manage field teams with real-time effectiveness. By integrating mobile devices, retailers can track field team store visits, manage inventory, see store appearance, direct marketing and in-store promotions, and much more.
A quality retail intelligence solution will distill all your relevant data into clear and concise reports that make it easy to glean powerful insights about your business and help you make more informed decisions.
Operational benefits of business intelligence at a glance
- Manage field teams and ensure compliance
- Monitor the appearance of stores and product displays
- Streamline inventory management
- Manage in-store promotions and marketing programs
- Know what products are selling and what products aren’t
- Unify online and in-store sales channels and product selection
- Schedule and monitor staffing
Finding a data and analytics partner to help drive retail business intelligence
There’s no question that today retail is being powered by innovation and information. It’s not a question of whether or not you need to leverage intelligence, it’s a matter of how you plan to do it.
The reality is, most brands and retail businesses simply aren’t equipped to keep up with these new technology and customer insight trends on their own. This would require substantial investments in software and personnel to integrate new solutions across online and brick-and-mortar channels.
Fortunately, there are retail management companies, such as The Revenue Optimization Company (T-ROC), who have made it their mission to leverage people and technology solutions to drive sales for major retailers.
Founder and CEO, Brett Beveridge, explains the intelligence value T-ROC brings, “The landscape of retail is very different than it was just a few years ago. For our clients, we’re integrating tools like digital data capture technology, AI, robots, mobile customer engagement devices, in-store displays and sensors, and we’re combining these with data we get from things like mystery shopping and surveys to give our clients a study of their customers, marketing, operations and really every aspect of their business on a level that was never before possible.”
Need help creating an effective business intelligence solution? Learn more here.
TROC is the leading provider of premier staffing outsource, software, managed technology services, and consumer insights for the top global brands, retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and distributors. The company’s distinctive solutions address the entire lifecycle of brick and mortar brand and retail operations by combining retail expertise, best practices, and technology to help its customers achieve sales and operational excellence as well as a sustainable competitive advantage. As a Retail 4.0 thought leader, T-ROC enables companies with high-value products in the physical world to thrive through the digitalization of the physical shopping experience. To learn more about T-ROC, visit www.trocglobal.com.